I Remember by Linda (Hallabuk) Batton
My favorite memories of Lopez which are many are when I was growing up in the beauty, peacefulness and simplicity of Lopez.
I remember nights when I would walk out in the backyard of my dad’s house which was on a hill and you could look up at the stars and they were so close and clear you thought you could pick them.
I used to like when we had weeny roast outside by an open fire and my mom would tell us the old ghost stories of the town like about devils grave, devils elbow and the old cemetery. Old friends would come by and we would roast marshmallows.
I remember swimming at sulpher by the falls and getting clay up behind the falls. I can remember when there were bulls tied up and on our way to the swimming hole we would have to pass by them. I was always afraid as I had a red bathing suit. Thankfully we were never chased.
We also went swimming in Martins and Gulicks which were also favorite swimming holes which were much closer than sulfur. I always remember climbing the hill from sulpher and feeling like having to go swimming again as it was a big hill to get to the top of.
I remember my dad making a rack for my bike that carried 4 water jugs and I would go to cold spring and bring water back home.
Mcgees was a favorite hang out for kids in town. Especially after the baseball games. We would pay pinball and sit in the booths and listen to the juke box. You usually knew the songs by heart. You could have a huge hamburger or fries or shake. Everyone met there it was the big thing in town to do.
I remember sleigh riding down Main Street and seeing the sparks fly. There was no traffic and the town was so quiet and still.
I remember the huge piles of snow in front of the hotel that we would play on. We would all gather in Yaroshs and sleigh ride down into the fields. There used to be a huge group of people old and young alike. Sleds and inner tubes were the mode of fun then.
I remember going up to stone quarry up Church Street and getting frog eggs and putting them in jars for school. There were Indian paints growing on top of the ledges and we used to pick them and color the rocks.
We used to climb the white birch trees by the old jail and swing down only I always swung back up as I was so light.
Of course there was icicle cave which is still there till this day. Kids would go in to view the stalagmaites growing from the top and bottom.
I remember when we were in the one room school house and at recess we all had cabins in the woods behind the school.
I remember playing along the creek and skipping stones and picking milk weeds. We used to open up the pod and dry them out and use them for play food. One time I left them out on a dish at home and my dad thought they were chicken and ate them.
I remember going down Flat Street by the creek picking pussy willows for Palm Sunday.
I remember stopping in Chesonis store for candy which was only a penny and a nickel then and the good cheese buns and creme donuts the baker would bring in.
I can remember flying kites on the baseball diamond and fishing under the bridge and listening from my house to the sounds of cars going over the bridge.
I remember sleigh riding well into the night and coming in and putting our mittens by the oven door to dry, our fingers all red and prickly from the heat.
I remember one time we were playing hide and seek in town and we climbed to the top of the evergreen trees to hide and heard a noise and I let go and bounced on the branches to the bottom.
I remember the music from the Russian Hall dances which flowed across my backyard.
Lopez to some people looks like it may not have that much to offer and yet it offered a lifetime of good memories which were as fresh and clean as the new fallen snow.
Each season offered a panoramic view of beauty in its own way. The winter with its snow decorating the branches walking down Main Street you could hear pin drop. The spring with its newness of everything springing into life summer with the long hot days of sitting in the sun and fall when the countryside looked like an artist’s paint brush had worked its magic. Neighbors burning the piles of leaves and the scent flowing through the town.
Isn’t it funny how when you’re young and growing up you want to leave your town. I remember kids saying there’s nothing here, nothing to do they wanted to leave as soon as they graduated. Now when you’re older your heart takes you back and you remember when your days were filled with lots to do. You wish now you saw familiar faces and familiar places. You long for the simplicity and peacefulness. Nowadays the malls are so big they tire you out just to look up at all their levels and wall to wall people.
No matter how far away you move, there will always be a part of Lopez that sleeps in a corner of your heart forever.
Life is moving so fast and furious. Everyone is in a hurry, everything is big the bigger the better, its like people are trying to catch that brass ring and hold on and really you
can hold on to it and find it in Lopez.
By Linda Baton
formerly Linda Hallabuk